Tim Boyer Photography

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Oregon Coast

Oregon Coast Workshop Report

Landscape PhotographyTim BoyerComment

The Oregon Coast is a fabulous place to create landscape images, with a little luck and some patience, it might all come together. the subjects are all there, it's the light that is sometimes magical, and those are the times we want to shoot!  

The first afternoon/evening session was at Siletz Bay and the Three Brothers this is a great place to start and dust off the camera gear and get start getting into the "landscape" mindset.

On Siletz Bay near Lincoln City the Three Brothers stand guard just off shore from where the Siletz River enters the bay.

On Siletz Bay near Lincoln City the Three Brothers stand guard just off shore from where the Siletz River enters the bay.

The second day of the workshop was rainy and  foggy, I'm still working on those images trying to figure out if I want them to be black & white images or not.  So in the mean time I'll just skip those.

I like to stop at Moolack beach just north of the Yaquina Head Lighthouse for the view of the lighthouse standing on the edge of the ocean.  Sometimes though the surprises are in the other direction.  By shooting looking north these bluffs look like the Napali Coast of Hawaii or someplace exotic like that.  The slow shutter speed caught some cars coming around the bend in the road as well.

Looking north up Moolack Beach.

Looking north up Moolack Beach.

I like this lighthouse because the land it sits on jets out into the Pacific, It looks and feels like a lighthouse should.  The location is dramatic, and often the clouds and lighting are too.

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

The Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

The weather was good so we went down to Cape Perpetua and Thor's Well for a little excitement.

The water comes up through Thor's Well before it drains back in. The water blasting out of the hole is hwer photogrphaer's need to keep thier gear dry.

The water comes up through Thor's Well before it drains back in. The water blasting out of the hole is hwer photogrphaer's need to keep thier gear dry.

The water draining back in Thor's Well is the standard image these days, but there's also something about the water blasting out that makes a pretty dynamic image as well.

The water draining back in Thor's Well is the standard image these days, but there's also something about the water blasting out that makes a pretty dynamic image as well.

The next morning from the hotel parking lot, I could see a few bright stars, so I knew it would be good at Pacific City.  Wow was it ever!

Pacific City, Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda on a fabulous morning of light.

Pacific City, Haystack Rock and Cape Kiwanda on a fabulous morning of light.

The beach at Pacific City just before sunrise.

The beach at Pacific City just before sunrise.

Haystack Rock and the golden sandstone of Cape Kiwanda at sunrise.

Haystack Rock and the golden sandstone of Cape Kiwanda at sunrise.

Haystack Rock and the golden sandstone of Cape Kiwanda in full morning light.

Haystack Rock and the golden sandstone of Cape Kiwanda in full morning light.

Often in late summer and early fall Common Murres can be found on beaches and rock jetties.  They molt or shed all of their primary feathers (flight feathers) at once so they can't fly.  But because they also use their wings to fly underwater, when they don't have their flight feathers they can't swim and chase fish as well.  It's as if, when they need food the most (growing feathers takes a lot of energy) it's the most difficult for them to chase fish. My theory has always been that they come ashore to conserve energy and warm up.  Their body temperature is about 100 degrees and they can lose heat quickly in the cold Pacific waters. If you come across a Common Murre or any other bird it might not be injured or sick, it could just be resting waiting for the next high-tide to take it back into the  water.

A Common Murre beached.

A Common Murre beached.

Cape Kiwanda sandstone.

Cape Kiwanda sandstone.

Newport Bridge in teh afternoon on a scouting stop.

Newport Bridge in teh afternoon on a scouting stop.

Newport Bridge way after sunset and a really long exposure.

Newport Bridge way after sunset and a really long exposure.

It was a great week on the Oregon Coast we also stopped at the North Fork of the Yachats River Bridge, one of 50 remaining wooden covered birdges in Oregon, Seal Rocks, Agate Beach, hiked up to the top of Cape Kiwanda and hiked up part of the Cascade Head trail.

Enjoy!        Thanks          Tim

What's in the FRAME?

Photography TipsTim BoyerComment

Framing a photograph is deciding what to include and what to exclude.  It's the process of determining what we want to say in our images.  Traditionally photographers did this by deciding what lens to use and how close to get to the subject, in a way cropping manually.  Today we can think about the frame and the story or message in the image while we make the image and in post-production where we have the ability to crop much more then in the traditional film days.  Each of these steps is important to the process because it gives us two chances to think about the image and our message.  

Photographer at Seal Rocks during an October sunset.

Photographer at Seal Rocks during an October sunset.

The beach, the sky, the sunset colored clouds, the waves and the photographer all combine to tell this simple story of a photographer creating images on the beach at sunset.  A normal view would be at around 50 mm of lens, choosing a wider angle lens let me include all of the rocks and a fair bit of sky and sand.  I wanted the photographer to be a smaller element than the rocks and wanted to show some vastness and openness to the landscape.

Backlit waves at Seal Rocks on the Oregon Coast.

Backlit waves at Seal Rocks on the Oregon Coast.

With the use of a telephone lens and some cropping in post-production, the little pop of backlit wave is silhouetted against the larger rocks at Seal Rocks beach adding drama and an element suspense.  The scale of the image is also changed, and there's no way to know how high the rocks are or how big the waves are.  The 400 mm telephoto lens choice also compressed the image, so the waves and rocks all look closer to each other, this compression is referred to as a flattening of the image.  In this image I'm isolating the element of the wave splash, choosing what I want the view to see and experience.

1/10 of a second, f/16 at ISO 100 and 160 mm

1/10 of a second, f/16 at ISO 100 and 160 mm

Stepping back a little and zooming out to 160 mm, more rocks, waves and some beach added to the image create a different feel to the beach location.  There is now a layering of the waves in the image with some coming straight towards the viewer and some cutting across in front of the viewer.  There's a sense of walking on the beach in this image.

A slow shutter spedd blurs the evening waves.

A slow shutter spedd blurs the evening waves.

By slowing the shutter speed and thus blurring the water a calmer more peaceful or even reflective image is created, the power of the ocean waves isn't felt or doesn't threaten the viewer. Cropping to a panoramic type image also adds to the sense of a larger landscape, pushing the waves and the rocks further away from the viewer.

The setting sun reflects on wet sand.

The setting sun reflects on wet sand.

By darkening the corners with a vignette, the center of the frame is lighter, and the eye is naturally drawn there.  A vignette can add focus to the main message in any image.  In a cluttered image, adding a vignette can focus the eye on the part of the image that tells the story best. The vignette in this image brings the eye to the bottom center of the frame and then draws it to the setting sun on the horizon.

Photography is more than taking an image; it's telling a story, having the viewer experience something, a feeling or thought - this connection is really what we're after.  It's important at some point in the process before creating an image, while making the image, or in the post-processing of putting the finishing touches on an image to ask, "What am I trying to say here?", "What do I want the viewer to feel or think?"

I'll be back on the Oregon Coast October 18th through 21st teaching a landscape photography workshop; more information can be found here.  There's still a couple of openings if you're interested.

Enjoy!      Thanks       Tim